Cherry crackle crispies.

What’s your memory of childhood birthday parties?  Whether I attended a party at a friend’s house or was lucky enough to have one myself, one delightful memory springs to mind: Scanning the party food and spotting a big plate of Rice Krispy cakes.

Melted chocolate mixed with lots of puffed riced and spooned into cupcake cases brought (almost) endless joy to this greedy little lad.  My tendency to scoff as much as possible coupled with my preference for savoury food, made me a fiend at buffets (and still does).  Even at the age of ten, however, Rice Krispy cakes had a power over me that sausage rolls and crisps did not.

For the last few days, I’ve had an image of those little bites of fun in my head and today I was able to sate my hunger for them.  Of course, I’ve added some surprises of my own, but you probably guessed that already.

Cherry crackle crispies

300g milk chocolate

100g Rice Krispies

100g glace cherries

50g mini marshmallows

7 tblspoons cherry flavoured popping candy

Half tspoon almond extract

I just love anything flavoured with cherries, so I adapted this ultra-basic favourite to include glace cherries, mini marshmallows and an extra surprise.  I used to buy the odd packet of popping candy and pour it onto my tongue to let it fizz and crackle loudly.  I’d never put it into a recipe before, but I certainly will again!  Adding seven packets of cherry flavoured popping candy gives these crispy cakes an unexpected and not entirely unpleasant sensation.  These “cakes” really do crackle!

Simply melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over some hot water and stir in the almond extract.  Believe it or not, the almond extract is a great partner for anything with cherries in it.

Pour the chocolate into a plastic bowl filled with the rest of the ingredients and mix together thoroughly until everything is completely coated.  I reserved a few mini marshmallows for decoration, but this is optional.  Isn’t everything?

Spoon the mixture into paper cases and refrigerate for a few minutes until the chocolate has set.  Eat at the earliest opportunity and let the party on your tongue begin!

No bake chocolate cake.

I can only apologise for the delay in food action this week.  Preparation for my baby boy’s baptism have given me little or no time to get close to my beloved oven.

There’s no way that I can resist making something, so it was a real guilty treat to knock together my no bake chocolate.  Essentially, it is nothing more than melted chocolate and some tasty bits, but it does the trick.

No oven, no special techniques or weird ingredients.  Just plenty of chocolate and a gorgeous cake in no time at all.  Been promising to try a recipe out, but not had the time?  Perhaps this is the one for you.  Enjoy!

No bake chocolate cake

250g dark chocolate

230g butter

200g chocolate digestive biscuits

60g demerara sugar

4 tblspoons black coffee

100g pecans

100g glace cherries

100g mini marshmallows

half tspoon vanilla extract

Melt the butter, chocolate and sugar together in a pan and then stir in the vanilla extract.  Crush the biscuits, but not too finely.  Plenty of biscuit chunks is what you’re looking for.  (Plain digestives work just fine, but I’ll take any excuse to get more chocolate into the recipe!)

Stir the biscuits and cherries and pecans into the chocolate.  Add the marshmallows last so that they don’t melt into the chocolate, but keep their shape.

Tip the mixture into a lined loaf tin and place in the fridge until it is set.  Cut thin slices and serve with coffee.